I saw "Australia" the other day. Despite the best efforts of Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman as well as a talented director, those are three hours I'd like back.
It's a shame. The previews looked promising and, I thought, how can you botch a film about Australia? They managed to do so through cliches, cheap emotional ploys, and terrible special effects. It ran around an hour too long.
In comparison, consider a film that I've mentioned here before: Nowhere in Africa, an outstanding movie with fine performances, a powerful story and a great soundtrack. It had no big-name stars and a smaller budget but the ultimate product is far superior.
Of course, this may be one of those "because of" rather than "despite" situations.